Top tips for looking after your tan

Many of us are looking forward to jetting off on our summer holidays and sunbathing by the pool or the beach. If you are looking to get the perfect (and safe) tan, why not take a look at our tips below on how to get an even, longer lasting tan.

Before Tanning


Before your holiday have a vigorous all over body scrub at home, using a salt scrub and exfoliating gloves. This will remove dead skin to expose a healthy layer and will ensure that your skin cells are at the beginning of their cycle for a longer and more even tan.

We love this Clinique sparkle Skin exfoliator which polishes rough, dry areas such as heels, elbows, knees and smoothes and refreshes skin leaving skin feeling cool and refreshed.

Available from John Lewis for £22.50, who donate up to 1% of your spend to your charity when you shop with Give as you Live.


Use a minimum of factor 10-15 to protect your skin from dangerous rays and allow your tan to build gradually. This also prevents sunburn or a reddish tan which will fade quicker.

Make sure you cover all exposed areas evenly, including knees and elbows , to avoid an uneven tan.

Check your skin type, and choose the SPF best suited to your needs.

Remember, it takes approximately 20-30 minutes for sunscreen to bind and take effect on your skin, so if you apply it on your lounger you are in danger of burning immediately. Apply your sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going in the sun and you will be protected straightaway.

We recommend Elemis Liquid Layer Sunblock SPF 30, the ultimate weapon against UVA and UVB rays, pollution and free radical damage. The water resistant, weightless formulation feels incredibly comfortable on the skin and provides immediate invisible coverage. Use every day over moisturiser.

Available from Salon Skincare for £20.80, who donate up to 3% of your spend to your charity when you shop with Give as you Live.

During Tanning

Take time

Limit your sunbathing to 1-2 hours a day. It takes time to develop a natural healthy tan. Avoid sunbathing during peak hours (10 am– 2 pm) as tanning during these times may give a deeper tan or even cause sunburn.


Scientists believe that water helps extend the life or your cells, so make sure you drink plenty of water.

All Over Tan

Expose all of your body parts equally. If you spend longer on your front or back, that part of your body won’t tan as much. Make sure to fully expose all areas that you want tanned, including your knees and elbows. Wear different swimsuits to avoid straplines. If you go swimming, make sure that your sunscreen is waterproof and that you reapply it once you get out.


After Tanning

Have a shower or bath

This will get rid of sunscreens and oils and will re-hydrate the skin. Dry skin is unhealthy and may peel or not maintain the tan very well. Gently using a washcloth is enough to remove sunscreen and prevent peeling.

body butterMoisturise

Even if you have only been in the sun for a short time, apply plenty of moisturiser to rehydrate your skin and to keep it supple. Whilst your usual moisturiser is better than nothing, aftersun is better as it contains extra hydrating ingredients. Aftersun with Aloe Vera will also cool the skin. Many describe themselves as “maintaining” or “extending” and will usually contain a mild fake tan. These are worth investing in as they leave a fuller colour and can be used after your holiday too. A sure way to check if it contains a tanning agent is if it recommends washing hands after usage.

We can’t resist the smell of Body Shop’s Coconut Body Butter, which melts straight into your skin leaving it smooth and subtle. Be sure to take a look at our top moisturisers over on our beauty guide

Available from The Body Shop for £6.50, who donate up to 6% of your spend to your charity when you shop with Give as you Live.

Remember to check your beauty products…

Some beauty products have hidden-tan removing abilities. Exfoliants, acne treatments and ingrown hair remedies often contain Salicyclic acid, which causes the epidermis to shed cells quicker. Body scrubs, peels and certain face masks are also designed to scuff off old skin cells.